imprinted
I lost my Lucky boy yesterday morning. I have had him for 13 1/2 years, since I was 9. This is my first encounter with loss, and on top of that, he was my world. I can't even believe I am using past tense right now. My mom and I went on a 3 week Europe trip back in January. We left him in excellent care along with our other 2 cats. He's a moody boy and he and I have imprinted on each other. It was hard to leave, and during the trip I had nightmares so bad that I was screaming, crying, and sweating in the middle of the night, waking up my mother (something that's never happened before). We called and checked and he was fine. When we came back though, he was skin and bones. I was terrified. We thought because he is so moody and only loves me #1 or my mom #2, that we thought it was because we were gone too long. We began trying to nurse him back to health with various foods and treats, anything to get his weight up. And he ate, but he wasn't gaining weight, then he stopped eating and drinking. We took him to the doctor and she said he had irritable bowel and prescribed prednisone, so we gave that to him via the ear for a little over a month, decreasing the doses as we were instructed. His appetite came back and he started eating and drinking and everything was starting to look better, but as we decreased the doses, it quickly got worse. He stopped eating and drinking so we took him back to the vet, she said everything was fine and to just give him a consistent dose every other day for the rest of his life. She also gave us an oral one that she said would be more effective. She also instructed us on how to give him subcutaneous fluids. That weekend, we gave him the fluids. A little bit the first time because we were still getting the hang of it, and then the normal amount the next day along with the oral dose of prednisone (a steroid). Well things got bad really fast. That night my mom called me telling me he was panting and kinda groaning. I rushed over and sat with him until the vet opened, we took him in, she performed tests and then referred us to Advanced Veterinary Specialists saying she detected something abnormal in his lung, We rushed him there and they admitted him in the hospital. We learned that day that he had a severe heart condition that is fairly common in Ragdoll cats. His heart was enlarged and unable to accommodate the blood in a certain ventricle so it leaked into his lungs. Basically, he went through heart failure. They kept him overnight in an air box, gave him medicine. My stubborn, sassy, selective boy all alone with strangers. They took good care of him but were worried about other things as well. Did more tests. They released him into our care the next day with a bunch of meds, a partially shaved leg from the IV, and a shaved belly from the ultrasound (I kissed that leg and belly so many times in the weeks to come, and surprisingly, he liked it. He never did before, maybe it had to do with my lips on his bare skin that was comforting). I learned from my mom a few days later that she already knew the results from the biopsy; he had extensive cancer in his intestines. If he had one condition and not the other, then we could've treated him. But the prednisone coupled with the fluids we gave at our vet's recommendation, contributed to his heart failure and with his heart that bad, and how extensive the cancer was, there was no option for chemo. I f***ing broke. I had never ever considered for a moment in my life that I could lose him. I got him when I was a lonely only child and I just thought that we were meant to be and that no matter what he would be with me because it just had to be that way. I needed him. I need him. 

We started giving medicine religiously. He HATED it. But he tolerated it better than expected, almost like he knew that we needed him to get better for us. Three medicines in the morning, and two at night, one of them being an appetite stimulant. We gave all of this medicine like clockwork for about a week and a half. He started eating for the first time in 9 days. His appetite came full force and he became normal instantly aside from taking it easy with jumps and me making sure he never walked up the stairs (this could make his heart over work and lead to another heart failure). Things became almost normal, aside from the medicine. I had deluded myself into thinking that they messed up the biopsy and they were wrong. Corona hit right at the time we took him to the hospital so I was unemployed and happily available to be with him 24/7. It was so nice to spend 3 weeks with him, all the while believing he was getting better. Half way through that, he had an episode where the stress of giving the medicine overwhelmed him and he was on the brink of heart failure with panting and all that. I watched him like a hawk and over the course of a day he got better. We decided to try and sneak the medicine in his food and no more appetite stimulant and to our joyous surprise, he ate! He ate without the stimulant. He avoided the food spiked with the heart meds, but it was okay because the more important one was the one to ease any blood out of his lungs and he was eating it. He was eating and happy and purring and my boy. He always liked going for walks around the outside of the house so it became a routine instead of something that was a couple times a week. Morning and afternoon he expected it, and it was my great pleasure to take him out and watch him sniff and walk the same circuit so curiously and joyfully. He always stopped in the same spots. He is so amazing. He is the love of my life. My baby boy. He has been there for me when no one else was, and made me feel incredibly loved, special, and most importantly, not alone at all. Every dark moment in my life has been overcome with his love and presence. 

The day before yesterday, Monday, he woke up happy as he usually does and we went for a walk. Half way though I cut it short because I wanted to stop by my mom's unit to eat breakfast and then finish the walk around the house back to my unit where I would get ready for a bike ride. He went into his usual spot and when my mom went to check on him he was on the floor panting and drooling. It was a horrible, heart wrenching sight. He then went under the bed and stayed there for a couple hours, calming down. She told me to take him out and put him in his usual spot and offer him food. I begrudgingly did even though I didn't want to disturb him. He became distraught and leaped off the spot (he hasn't leaped in forever because he sensed it would be too much strain), ran around the couch and collapsed on the floor, panting with drool and then went under the daybed in the living room. I was beyond worried, but I tried to remain calm because not only did I not want to stress him with my fear, but I also was hopeful that he would return back to normal like the time before, even though the time before was not as bad as this. Well, it got worse. He came out a couple hours later, sat on a shelf, I pet him, he purred, then I suppose the discomfort came back and he let out a sad little cry that hurt me so much and tried to get down. I helped him down and he wanted to go downstairs, get to cool air. He tried going for our hutch style litter box but I pulled him out and then he tried going up a stair and collapsed like he fainted or something with a huge horrible cry. That moment was so terrifying and painful for me as well as him and I took him outside to get air. It was night. He laid on the ground purring and I sat there with him, comforting my baby. Then we decided to take him to my unit because it was cooler and there was a sliding door so he could have the fresh air. My mom and I took him there where my boyfriend and I stay currently and he went into hiding under the bed. I wanted so badly to help him but all I could do was put towels under there so he could at least sit on something soft. The hours passed, I would lay on the ground and pet him and he'd start purring. The night got late and my boyfriend went to sleep. Lucky moved to the sliding door and would be okay for a while, although his posture was hunched. I suspected that his stomach was in pain. I sat with him and pet him, scratched him, kissed him, talked to him. Then I would go back to bed and listen to him. Multiple times throughout the night I would bolt up and flash my flash light and he was okay, just sleeping on the mat. The other times I would hear him struggling to breath. He came over to my side of the bed and I jumped up immediately and took him back to the sliding door and comforted him even more. This happened again. I felt so scared and helpless. I knew what was coming and what I needed to do, but I couldn't believe that this was happening. My baby boy, my best friend, my soulmate was dying and he needed me to be strong for him. I texted my mom and called AVS. It was 6am. I described what was happening and asked the doctor through tears if he was in pain and she said yes and that it was time. I got my mom and boyfriend together. My mom was in disbelief. I wanted one last walk with Lucky. We all walked together, but Lucky couldn't take it. He walked back to the door, went in and then came out, walked to my mom, then walked away and peed himself and then started walking all loopy and in a circle. His face was kinda shocked, like he couldn't believe how weak he had become. It broke my f***ing heart. My mom, who was in disbelief before and about to call it off, agreed that it was time. I scooped him up and oddly, I don't know how or why, but even though I felt him, he felt light as a feather. I can't explain it. My boyfriend drove us to AVS with Lucky on my lap. My eyes and hands were glued to him. All of my senses were on him. When we got there, the nurse took him to prep him. When we came in with f***ing face masks on, he had an IV tube attached to his little shaved leg and he was in a hospital provided bed and blanket. Why in the f***s sake did we not think to bring a bed or a blanket? He was curious about the room but not too worried cuz his two favorite people were there. He was unstable though and we just loved on him on the bed and blanket. I told my mom that I had gotten us here to help him, but I wouldn't be able to push the button to signify the doctor come in. She had to do it. She did. The doctor came in. I didn't even see her. I was focused on him. She explained something about the first making him go to sleep and the second stopping his heart. When she did the first, he jumped like popped popcorn and I screamed. She held him down and then did the second one. She said that the liquid is cold and that its just a reaction to that. His eyes didn't close. Not with the sleep inducer or the heart stopper. She didn't tell us about that. The horror of not knowing when he went to sleep and when he passed except for the slight enlarging of his pupils. She put the stethoscope to his heart and said that he's gone. Then everything went blurry. I had to leave immediately. Tears, screams of anguish ruptured out of me. I was ushered out of the hospital, into the car, and home all the while wailing. I have been crying ever since. Yesterday was all tears and denial. Today is tears and emptiness. Horrible sadness. I wish I could explain every memory we have had, or every moment where I thought I was alone, dark, and depressed only to realize that no, I have Lucky, my grumpy baby boy who for some reason picked me and only me to be his absolute favorite person. His mama. The star of his life and the savior of mine. I can't even believe he is gone because just yesterday he was here and the night before we sat together, me caressing him, comforting him by the moonlight of a moon that was one day from being full. I just can't believe that everything that is him is just not here. I don't know where to look without feeling agony, emptiness, loneliness and worry. I have very strong beliefs about reincarnation, time and space and all of that philosophical stuff, so I know that he's okay, happy, and already with me outside the restraints of space and time, but I'm stuck in this f***ing body on Earth doomed to live the rest of my life without him. Unless of course, he reincarnates and joins me again in some form this life (and I recognize that its him). Anyways, I just had a fight with my boyfriend. He's tired from working long hours and I just talked his ear off about a bunch of personal s**t, mainly how I came to be a lonely soul. Someone without close family members aside from my mom, someone who barely has a friend, someone who has felt alone all her life, aside from having Lucky to save her from it and give her all the love and support she ever needed, He got annoyed because it was getting really late and he wanted to sleep and that I should've "taken the hint" and let him sleep. I don't blame him. But this moment with him where I opened up about a ton of painful s**t in my life, s**t that he barely listened to or responded to (probably because he was tired, and also probably because he couldn't relate as someone who has always had lots of friends and family), it f***ing opened this enormous gaping wound in me because for the first time in my conscious life, I didn't have Lucky to help me through the pain. And that's how I ended up on here, typing out this long story at 3am to people who probably won't get though the entirety of it. 

I miss you Lucky. I love you so much, and I ALWAYS will love you. You are my baby boy, the 2 month old kitten that wasn't the kitten I had picked, that crawled into my lap, and picked me. Thank you so much my love.
yk
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JulieF
Imprinted - I read through your post because I know it was the pain escaping you.  I am so sorry for the loss of your Lucky cat.  I can tell how much you loved him and he was a "Lucky" boy (and obviously smart because he picked you!).  I don't know what to say to you to help you other then everyone on this forum knows EXACTLY what you are going through.  You are not alone!  I just had to put my Patchy boy down on Monday after 19 years together.  I loved him so much.  He was a feral kitten who chose me (I just remembered this while on the phone with my Mom this morning).  We wanted to bring in one of the feral kittens that lived at our house, so we left the door open to see who wandered in.  I named him Patch because he is a Tuxedo cat and had a white patch next to his mouth.  I called him my "buddy".  He was with me through a divorce and three bouts of cancer.  Long story short, he was diagnosed with kidney failure in December.   I could have put him on a special diet but because I was already having trouble keeping weight on him and I knew he only had a short time left, I decided to make him happy and let him eat his usual food.  Well, he seemed fine Sunday morning, but vomited Sunday afternoon and during the night Sunday - his poor thin body wracked with it.  He had been sleeping with me, got up and went into these horrible spasms of vomiting.  After that, he came back to bed and I figured that was it..  No, it continued on - then he started making these terrible cries - like he was in pain.  Monday morning he was listless and could barely take a couple of steps.  Did not want any food.  I knew the end had come.  It had been coming gradually for a few months.  My pet sitter who watched him while I was away in February was actually surprised he was still alive when I told her.  She told me I did the right thing - even though I have been second guessing myself since Monday.  It has been an EXTREMELY difficult week.  I actually thought I was starting to feel better yesterday, but I woke up this morning in a world of hurt.  Cried a lot and called my mom (who lives several states away).  Lean on your mom and share your hurt.  This site also has a chat room that might help as well.  The pain comes in waves.  You will feel fine for a while, then something triggers a memory and it comes rushing back.  Don't be afraid to go to counseling or be put on an anti-depressant, as I know some other people who have done that.  You had a trauma with him the last few weeks and I can understand how you feel since it seemed like he was improving.  I also think that what is going on in the world right now does not help.  Grieving basically stinks - it hurts and you want it to go away.  But it is proof of the deep love and affection you had for your Lucky.   Hugs going your way.
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codysmum102
Imprinted,
I read your story until the end. You are an eloquent writer and your post is a lovely tribute to the bond you and Lucky shared. I lost my once in a lifetime dog, Cody 3 months ago tomorrow. He passed from a brain tumor and was on Prednisone for awhile along with a myriad of seizure medications. He looked as though he was doing well for two months after the diagnosis but then one night he began having terrible seizures and since he was on the highest doses of medication there was really nothing else to be done.

Cody was my little white shadow who followed me everywhere. He was the light of my life, my confidant, my baby boy and I miss him greatly. He was with me through so many hard times in my life, the deaths of my mother and father, troubles in my marriage and all the other trials that life can bring, always providing comfort by just being there. I miss his smiling face, for he was always such a happy boy, his soft fur, his joy as he would greet me at the door excited to see me. I miss following him on his walks, as he would choose which path he wanted to follow, and watching that little strut as he trotted down the sidewalk. Everything around me reminds me of my precious Cody and my Cody was everything. I too can not believe that I have to go through the rest of my life without him by my side. I am heartbroken and know that my life will never be the same.  

 I pray that you find some comfort in the days ahead because it is a very hard road we must travel. Just know that you are not alone in your sorrow. No matter what anyone else says your baby mattered. Your grief matches the love you had for Lucky and not everyone will grieve the same way. Do what is right for you. Cry, scream, get angry, talk about your baby or don't talk it's up to you. We will always listen because, like you, we had special bonds with our loved ones that can not be dismissed in a few days, weeks, months or even years. Their passing took with them a chunk of our hearts which will slowly begin to heal but will never be quite the same. 
Be kind to yourself and take care,
Julie 💔
"Grief only exists where love lived first."
--Franchesca Cox
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JBB
Imprinted - I read your whole post.
It is easy to tell how big of an impact Lucky had on you.
I lost my cat Tucker to a pulmonary thromboembolism a little over 2 weeks ago today. He was 15 and a half. I have been crying every single day thinking about him.
Our stories are similar in many ways: Just after Tucker died, I refused to use the past tense to talk about him. it was too hard.
We both shared a very special bond with our cats. Tucker was my oxygen, my everything. Everyday spent with him was a blessing. I adopted him shortly before he turned 15 and had him for only 8 months. Even though i knew he was old, I wasn't expecting him to be gone after just a few months. I was caught by surprise and ended up devastated.
Also, I wasn't ready for how quick everything went. He was perfectly fine at the beginning of February but he was gone less than 2 months after. I can easily tell how overwhelmed you felt at how everything spiraled down once you came back from your trip across the pond. Trust me, you handled the situation very well and could not have done more for your beloved Lucky. I do repeat the same thing to many people on this forum so please take my word when i say that you made the right decision to put him to sleep. It is the ultimate act of love and dedication towards your cat. Lucky is now pain free. It is now the painful part for you as you have to get used to living without him. I do promise you that the pain will eventually go away and that you will cherish everything that you brought to each other. Grieve at your own pace. Then, you will celebrate Lucky's life.
I liked how you mentioned his shaved legs and belly. My cat Tucker had to go through the same when our vet had to do his ultrasound. I loved to give him belly rubs where he had been shaved. It felt like peach fuzz. I miss him terribly.

My deepest condolences.

JB
JB Burger
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